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Joff Redfern Discusses AI's Onboarding Conundrum & Adobe's Web-First Photoshop

Hosts: Brian Balfour & Adam Fishman

Topics: Unlocking AI’s Potential + Adobe’s Photoshop Product Changes

Release Date: Oct 05, 2023

In this week's episode of Unsolicited Feedback, Joff Redfern, the former Chief Product Officer at Atlassian and current Venture Partner at Menlo Ventures, joins the podcast. Fareed takes a bye-week, and Brian welcomes back Adam Fishman as his co-host.

This week's discussion includes:

1️⃣ Unlocking the Potential of AI Businesses

2️⃣ The Release of Adobe's Web-Version of Photoshop

We also kick off the episode with Joff introducing us to the Swiss Cheese Method. Curious? Find out more by watching the episode.

AI's Onboarding Conundrum

Have you ever felt like an AI's forgotten your conversations? 😕 Joff certainly has. He wants a personal assistant like the Chief of Staff from Veep, who knows him inside out and can anticipate his needs. But instead, he gets generic responses and no personalization. 😒

So, what's the real issue here? Why are AI companies falling short of the Job to be Done here? Our experts feel it might be the onboarding experience.

What makes onboarding critical? 🤔 Onboarding serves two purposes: educating the user about the application's capabilities, and personalizing the application. Unfortunately, AI companies have not cracked the code here. Why?

1️⃣ Eliminating Friction at All Costs: AI companies focus on reducing friction at the expense of personalizing the experience. Good AI performance requires learning about the user, which takes time and effort. A little good friction can go a long way! ⚙️

2️⃣ Desire for the largest possible TAM: Companies aim to solve problems for everyone, but we're all unique. Instead, Brian suggests a solution: Starting more narrowly and taking power users who have customized and figured out how to get their job done, and transforming their knowledge into a context window that becomes a new input.

Joff expands on this idea and proposes unlocking many possibilities with a few key decisions. He suggests using pairwise refinement to indicate your preferences and offers options for different response modes: long or concise, funny or serious. 🌍🤝

3️⃣ Trust creates a Chicken and Egg problem:

Without a detailed onboarding, AI usage is underwhelming. And without trust, users won't share their time and info. It's time for AI companies to reinvent the onboarding process and earn that trust! 🙌

Join the discussion and share your thoughts! How can we make AI onboarding easy but effective? 🌟💬

Adobe’s Web-Version of Photoshop

🎉 Adobe has released a web version of Photoshop, and it offers new collaboration, the ability for non-members to view and comment, and a firefly generative AI model! 🔥🎨

Overall, our cynical experts are pretty complimentary.

1️⃣ The team has brilliantly transformed the desktop version of Photoshop into a user-friendly and streamlined web product. 👏✨

2️⃣ Say goodbye to solo editing! Photoshop is now a multiplayer experience with the exciting addition of collaboration. No Photoshop experience required to comment and view. 🤝🔍

3️⃣ This update expands Photoshop's audience, bringing its power to a broader user base. 🌍💪

However, there are a few areas that still need improvement. Currently, there is limited connective tissue to other Adobe products, and collaboration doesn't feel like a first-class citizen just yet. 🧩🤷‍♂️

Nevertheless, these additions might be a great defense for Adobe. If they can provide enough value to prevent users from switching to platforms like Canva or Figma, then it might just be good enough. 🛡️💼

What are your thoughts on these new features?